45 CFR § 650.8 - Retention of rights by inventor.
If an awardee elects not to retain rights to an invention, the inventor may request the NSF Patent Assistant for permission to retain principal patent rights. Such requests should be made as soon as possible after the awardee notifies the Patent Assistant that it does not want to patent the invention. Such requests will normally be granted unless either the awardee or the employer of the inventor shows that it would be harmed by that action. As required by § 401.9 of the implementing regulations for the Bayh-Dole Act (37 CFR 401.9), the inventor will be subject to the same conditions that the awardee would have been, except that the special restrictions imposed on nonprofit organizations will not apply to the inventor.